Home prices continue climb in Pierce County

Staff writerFebruary 6, 2014 

The residential real estate market in Western Washington continued to heal in January, with most counties seeing an increase in sale prices and overall sales.

Pierce County’s median sale price increased almost 12 percent from January 2013, to $212,500, according to data released Wednesday by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. At the median sale price, half the homes sold for more than that amount, and half sold for less.

Thurston County’s median sale price took a tiny dip, dropping almost 3 percent from the same time a year ago, to $208,250. The reason for the drop wasn’t immediately clear. Other data indicate market strength, including a 27 percent increase in closed sales and about 4.5 months worth of inventory.

“I really don’t understand it,” said Randy Reynolds, president of the Thurston County Realtors Association. “I haven’t truly analyzed it yet, but what I’m feeling is that we’re seeing more investors picking up properties at the low end” of the price range. Brokers say there aren’t enough homes on the market. “We need more homes to sell, especially in the most desirable neighborhoods,” said Mike Gain, CEO and president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate, in a news release.

Pricing also is a concern. “Many listings are overpriced,” said Deidre Haines, regional managing broker in Snohomish County for Coldwell Banker Bain. “Buyers are not interested in making offers on those properties,” she said. Meanwhile new housing developments are drawing strong interest -- people are making reservations for homes that haven’t been built yet, Haines said. PIERCE COUNTY

Single-family homes and condos, January 2013/2014

 • Median sale prices rose 11.84 percent from $190,000 to $212,500.

 • Closed sales rose 1.29 percent from 700 units to 709 units.

 • Inventory, the number of units for sale, rose 8.06 percent from 2,841 units to 3,070 units.

 • New listings fell from 1,260 units to 1,246 units.

THURSTON COUNTY

Single-family homes and condos, January 2013/2014.

 • Median prices fell 2.69 percent from $214,000 to $208,250.

 • Closed sales rose 26.98 percent from 189 units to 240 units.

 • Inventory rose 6.43 percent from 1,027 units to 1,093 units.

 • New listings rose from 348 units to 374 units.

KING COUNTY

Single-family homes and condos, January 2013/2014.

 • Median sale prices rose 15.83 percent from $315,000 to $364,875.

 • Closed sales fell 6.01 percent from 1,781 units to 1,674 units.

 • Inventory rose 6.67 percent from 3,853 units to 4,110 units.

 • New listings fell from 2,638 units to 2,605 units.

Kathleen Cooper: 253-597-8546 kathleen.cooper @thenewstribune.com Twitter: @KCooperTNT Source: Northwest Multiple Listing Service

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